LONDON – British luxury automaker Aston Martin unveiled a new Formula 1 car on Wednesday before returning to the world’s most famous motorsport event.

Aston Martin Cognizant’s F1 team unveiled the “AMR21” car at a virtual event broadcast from London. The AMR21 will take part in the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship, which begins on March 28 in Bahrain.

Formula 1 is seen by millions of fans around the world and everyone from Ferrari to BMW to Mercedes has used the sport to promote the strength of their brand.

Aston Martin 2021 F1 challenger – the AMR21.

Source: Aston Martin

Aston Martin struggled financially and its stock price on the London Stock Exchange fell sharply in 2020. The company hopes Formula 1 will boost sales of Aston Martin road vehicles like the DB11, Vanquish and Vantage.

“Having a platform like Formula 1 to market our initiatives, show our technology and ultimately bring that technology to our road vehicles … is a big game changer,” said Lawrence Stroll, Aston Martin executive chairman, adding Add to that this a “monumental” moment.

Stroll took over the Formula 1 team two and a half years ago and became Executive Chairman of Aston Martin last April, taking a majority stake in the company.

“The first step was to raise the funding to carry out our business plan for the next five years,” he told CNBC’s Julianna Tatelbaum. “We raised $ 800 million in equity, the majority of which came from me and my consortium. This was for a business plan that takes us to 10,000 cars, $ 2 billion and a year over the next four years Brings EBITDA of $ 500 million. “

According to Stroll, Aston Martin has a fantastic order book for its sports cars and the new DBX, Aston Martin’s first SUV. He added that variants of the DBX will be coming in the near future and that a hybrid will hit the market in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Aston Martin’s last Grand Prix car was the DBR5, which was driven by Roy Salvadori and Maurice Trintignant in the 1960 British Grand Prix.

Aston Martin 2021 F1 challenger – the AMR21.

Source: Aston Martin

The new car is driven by the German Sebastian Vettel and the Canadian Lance Stroll.

“Although I’ve been driving for four Formula 1 teams for four years, it’s still exciting for me to start a new season with a new team,” Vettel said in a statement.

“I’ve always kept an eye on the competition and this team has impressed me again and again, which they did without the biggest budget.”

Vettel said he was immediately motivated to join the team when he was approached by Stroll and Otmar Szafnauer, CEO of the Aston Martin Formula 1 team.

The AMR21 will make its track debut on Thursday before heading to Bahrain next week ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix.

The team’s main sponsor is IT giant Cognizant. Other sponsors include beer maker Peroni, cryptocurrency website, and cybersecurity company SentinelOne.

Owned by Liberty Media, Formula 1 posted sales of $ 877 million last year, down 43 percent as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.